The words of this poem by the late English poet Francis Thompson shook me to my core when I first read it. It speaks on how this man was seeking the peace that only God could offer in things outside of God Himself while God was simultaneously seeking Him and yearning for a relationship with him. So poignant yet captivating! It’s a long one so I’ve posted just a snippet of it, but if you find yourself intrigued the rest of the poem is available at the link below. Enjoy! 💛
“Hound of Heaven”
I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’
Mark and I have been meditating on the importance of keeping the Sabbath just as God commanded us to. Not out of a need to please God so He will love us, but as a way to show Him we love Him and honor the work He has done on this earth. It’s our way of slowing down and enjoying all He has done for us by using this time to contemplate His Word and bask in His Glory. It’s our way of practicing what is to come in heaven when we finally meet Jesus Christ face to face.
Doing this has made me think about the current situation the pandemic has had us in the past couple months. I’ve been reflecting on 2 Chronicles 36:21 and wondering if maybe what we are experiencing is an enforced Sabbath? I’m not sure, but it seems like it very well could be. Let’s make the best of this season.
“What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live.”
-Lynn Ungar 11th March 2020
Article: Enforced Sabbath
God’s sovereignty and His ways of sharing love are simply amazing to me. He used this 17th century poem to share the love of Christ with the Jewish agnostic, Simone Weil in 1938. She was meditating on the words of this poem and experienced the overwhelming, powerful experience of Christ’s love! She said, “Christ came down and took possession of me.” WOW!
What a mighty yet gentle God we serve! Here’s the poem by 17th century Christian poet George Herbert. May God use it to do a mighty work in you too! ❤
Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.